60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120


Has Spring sprung already??!! This winter has been crazy since the first of the year. We have been seeing temperatures in the upper 40s to lower 50s in my part of the state. This isn’t good on the fruit trees let alone animals and humans too! The snow has been very much this winter down here either. If we haven’t had snow we have had plenty of rain though. Spring is around the corner just by looking at what is coming in my mailbox lately. Seed catalogs and hatchery catalogs have been coming for the last week or more! Also, the local farm store Rural King is gearing up with Chicks!! If looking at these types of catalogs and seeing cute little baby chicks do not put you in the mood for Spring I don’t know what would!  
 This is the perfect time to be planning your gardens for the coming growing season. You need to have time to decide what you want to plant so you can be ready when the ground is ready for preparing and planting in the early summer. You want to look at the different varieties of each vegetable you intend to plant. Of course you have to be careful that you don’t plan too much for the size plot you have for planting. All your plants need their space and overcrowding is not a good thing in a vegetable garden. Many plants can spread out of the area that you think is enough and crowd into another area which causes problems for other plants not being allowed to grow right. If you have a way to do research maybe you could look into doing some vertical gardening which will help you save on space.
Don’t forget to plan what you would like to grow for the Agriculture Department Growing contests that are in your Program Book. Be sure to check out the Program Book for all the class details and rules. I kept a number of the classes from last State Session and added a few suggested classes to see how they go too. With our State Session in late October, it makes it hard to come up with classes for the Growing Contests in the Ag Department. I would like to hear from anyone that has some ideas for classes PLEASE!! I hope we will have a good turn out as this will give everyone in the Grange a chance to show what they can do! We had a wonderful turn out at the 2023 State Session, and I hope it continues to GROW!! Please consider one of the classes if you have never entered the Ag Department. Agriculture is one of the main reasons the Grange was formed.
I look forward to another great Grange year as we celebrate 151 years of the Grange in Michigan. Please keep doing your part to keep yourself, your family, your friends and your communities safe and healthy. Let’s show our communities more than ever before what the Grange stands for – Faith, Hope, Charity and Fidelity!!  ​

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, 2023 is in the books and 2024 has just started! Well, I am sure everyone is starting to think about Spring and winter is not even half over! I know it is important to have snow during the winter months as that helps to add moisture to our farm fields and helps to protect the winter wheat during the cold months. So far, we have had a little bit of snow in my area of Michigan which seems weird as it is Dec 17th as I sit writing this article. What we have lacked in snow we have made up in rain!! We as much rain that has fallen, the farmers around here haven’t been able to get all of their crops out of the fields yet. 
Yes, snow is a part of everyday life during winter in our community. And don’t we often wish we didn’t have to live with it, but we couldn’t live without it.
So, while you sit and look at the snow float from the sky, think about what you might want to plant in your gardens or yards this coming spring. Now is a great time to be looking through the seed catalogs and plant books for those special favorites you might want to plant and then share the crops with friends and neighbors.   

​Here is a good reason to be planning early. Be sure to check out the Agriculture Department in the Program Book. I left some of the classes from 2023 in the program book for 2024 but have made a few changes to see if we can double the entries we had for the Agriculture Department yet again for 2024. I know it is tough trying to get things to last until our State Session, but I try to have classes that the produce would still be good to enter. If our State Session was during the late Summer or early Fall months, we could do more classes to deal with fruits, vegetables and flowers. But it is kind of hard to do tomatoes or raspberries in late October. Please be sure to keep the inserted Program Book for the 2024 State Session.

​Well, that is all for now. I have to do a Quarterly Bulletin now as the Directives state that all Department Directors are required to do a quarterly bulletin. I am not sure what it will entail but I will try to provide some good ideas, information or fun items for each quarter.

​Here is hoping 2024 is another great Grange year for all and brings bounty to our Agriculture Neighbors and Friends!    

​Until later….